Skills: shared outcomes framework

This framework is the means by which Skills Development Scotland and the Scottish Funding Council will monitor and report on collaborative projects that contribute to overarching skills outcomes.

Context – Where are we now?

12. The economic evidence paper that accompanied the publication of the NSET sets out the context for skills in Scotland.

13. Skills enable people to participate and progress in the labour market. Providing people with the opportunities to develop skills – irrespective of who they are and where they live – is a key driver of improved economic performance and wellbeing, which sits at the heart of the Scottish Government’s economic and labour market strategies.

14. People with more developed skills are more likely to be in employment. As well as improving the likelihood of being in employment, investing in skills helps people to progress to more fulfilling, secure, well-paid and fair work. This has wider social benefits.

15. Overall, a highly-skilled and engaged workforce is a key requisite for a successful economy. Skills increase an individual’s ability to do advanced tasks that add more value to the economy. Indirect impacts include enabling the development and application of more productive technology and innovation, supporting enhanced productivity and entrepreneurship and contributing to Scotland’s attractiveness as a destination for inward investment.

16. Scotland has performed well in post school education and has one of the highest shares of the workforce with at least tertiary education in Europe. However, the economy still faces a wide range of challenges with respect to skills, including:

  • General skills shortages as measured by prevalence of 'skills shortage vacancies'. The labour market challenge has grown as economic activity has recovered following the pandemic and with impacts of EU Exit on migration;
  • An ageing population, which is also translating to an aging workforce. There is evidence that working life is getting longer, with increasingly more people working beyond the retirement age. Latest projections suggest that these trends are long term and will continue. This highlights the importance of investing in lifelong learning.
  • While Scotland has depended on migration to meet skills and workforce requirements – especially in some sectors; its share of foreign-born population is much lower when compared to other OECD countries. EU Exit will have reduced this further.
  • Despite having challenges with respect to skills and general labour shortages, around one in five of Scotland's working age population is inactive. This group is complex and includes people with a long-term life limiting illness, full-time students, those discouraged from seeking work, and those who would take a job if other support was available. The share of inactive workers reporting that they are discouraged or not interested in work is extremely small (1 per cent). There is more that must be done to support those who want to work, but who are least able to, to be supported to access opportunities.

17. Addressing these challenges is critical if we are to build and maintain Scotland’s reputation for having a highly skilled workforce including; adapting and developing capability in response to the transition to net zero, increased digitalisation and Artificial Intelligence as well as responding to the demographic challenges of Scotland’s ageing population with more in-work training and upskilling and reskilling throughout our working lives.

18. This Framework is a core part of developing our understanding of how both agencies can work most effectively to support these outcomes and how we can deliver enhanced alignment of provision with economic need, resulting in a more agile and responsive system.

19. Figure 1, below, sets out the National Performance Framework outcomes and measures, and the skills actions from the National Strategy for Economic Transformation (NSET) to which all skills, labour market and education policies and programmes are expected to contribute.'

Figure 1 – National Skills Outcomes and contributions through NSET to National Performance Framework
National Performance Framework Outcomes Children and Young People - We grow up loved, safe and respected so that we realise our full potential Economy - We have a globally competitive, entrepreneurial, inclusive and sustainable economy Education - We are well educated, skilled and able to contribute to society Fair Work and Business - We have thriving and innovative businesses, with quality jobs
Vision for Skills[2] Scotland’s skills system works for; People - who can access the skills they need at every stage of life to have rewarding careers and meet the demands of an ever-changing economy and society Employers - who can access the right people with the right skills and who invest in the skilled employees they need to develop their organisations This will be achieved by: SFC and SDS working together to analyse labour market and other key data, and ensuring that between them, they drive the provision of the right skills opportunities in the right places. Ensuring that this approach results in both organisations operating at maximum efficiency, and that where investment is required, this takes into account the wider financial context, identifying savings where possible.
High Level Actions for Skills (NSET programmes) Adapt the education and skills system to make it more agile and responsive to our economic needs and ambitions. Support and incentivise people, and their employers, to invest in skills and training throughout their working lives. Expand Scotland’s available talent pool, at all skills levels, to give employers the skills pipeline they need to take advantage of opportunities.
High Level National Indicators[3] (NPF) Percentage of young adults (16-19 year olds) participating in education, training or employment - 92.2% (up 1.5% on 2020) (can be broken down by age, disability, ethnicity, gender and Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation (SIMD)) Proportion of adults aged 16-64 with low or no qualifications at Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF) level 4 or below. – 9.7% in 2020 (down 1.9% on 2019) (can be broken down by age, disability, ethnicity, gender and SIMD) Proportion of establishments reporting at least one skills shortage vacancy.[4] – 3% (down 3% on 2017) (can be broken down by establishment size, region, and sector) Percentage of employees who received on the job training in the last 3 months. – 22.3% (down 1.5% on 2019) (can be broken down by age, disability, ethnicity and gender) Proportion of all staff with skills and qualifications more advanced than required for their current job role - 8% in 2020 (down 1% on 2017) (can be broken down by establishment size, region, and sector)



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